2012 Jaguar XF Review
With an updated look, a standard V8 power and an interior filled with high-tech toys, the 2012 Jaguar XF offers impressive performance, but lacks the comfort of some rival luxury large cars.
As a result of its exterior facelift and some welcome interior updates, reviewers say that the 2012 Jaguar XF improves on an already-competitive model. Features such as the red, pulsating start button and stainless steel shift dial that rises from the center console remain, but the big interior updates include more-supportive front seats, a color information display in the gauge cluster and additional buttons which ease use of the XF’s touch screen interface.
However, these advances don’t make the XF perfect. Test drivers say that many functions still require you to work through a series of on-screen menus to access audio, navigation and climate control functions. This can require a little extra time and attention, but shoppers looking for value should appreciate that the XF comes standard with ample tech features such as navigation, Bluetooth and USB connections.
Interior space also remains an issue in the 2012 XF, which lacks a spacious back seat like those seen in rivals such as the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. However, the XF continues to excel with a powerful V8 engine as standard equipment. While the Mercedes E-Class starts at about $3,000 less than the base XF, you’d have to opt for a more powerful E550 to match the Jaguar in terms of power. Additionally, you’d have to add expensive option packages to match the XF’s technology-packed interior. In this respect, the XF presents itself as a bargain compared to most of the V8-powered rivals.
Other Cars to Consider
It’s tough to match the Jaguar XF’s combination of V8 power, standard interior tech and value. However, if you’re looking for all-wheel drive, or a fuel-efficient engine, the XF comes up short. Rivals like the Infiniti M and the BMW 5-Series both have optional V8 power and all-wheel drive, but they’ll also cost significantly more.
A V8-equipped Infiniti M56 costs about $6,000 more than the base XF, which starts at $53,000. Additionally, adding all-wheel drive to the Infiniti takes the price up to $61,600, about $8,500 more than the Jaguar. A V8-powered BMW 550i is an even more expensive choice. Expect to pay $60,200 and $62,500 for rear- and all-wheel drive models, respectively.
However, if you’re willing to forgo V8 power, standard tech, like navigation and all-wheel drive, both the BMW 5-Series and the Infiniti M will significantly undercut the XF’s price and deliver better fuel economy. You can save more than $5,000 by opting for the Infiniti M37, while the base BMW 528i undercuts the Jaguar’s price by nearly $8,000. So while the Jaguar XF is a V8 bargain, it still prices itself out of the competition if you’re comparing base models.
Jaguar XF: The Details
The Jaguar XF is available in four trim levels: base, Portfolio, Supercharged and XFR. Both base and Portfolio trims receive a 385-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, while the Supercharged and the XFR offer 470 and 510 horsepower, respectively, with the help of a supercharger and the same 5.0-liter V8.
All XF models come standard with a 7-inch touch screen display which controls audio, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, climate control and navigation. Rear parking sensors, heated front seats and push-button ignition also come standard. Portfolio, Supercharged and XFR trims also come equipped with larger wheels, front parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, a backup camera and an upgraded, suede-like headliner.
Base models start at $53,000, while Portfolio models add $6,000 to the price tag. Opt for a supercharged powerplant, and the price will jump to roughly $68,000 for an XF Supercharged or $82,000 for an XFR.
- "The car's dirty bits all carry over, and with a 385-hp V-8 as the base engine and a price-of-entry at $53,375, who cares? The XF is one of the sharpest steers in the class, and offers an excellent ride-and-handling balance." -- Car and Driver
- "For those wanting distinctive style and fresh, ‘gee-whiz’ technological features, this premium-midsize sedan should be near the top of your shopping list." -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2012 Jaguar XF carries on with its sharp handling, resilient ride and superb V8 engines. Of course, there are some downsides. Most of this car's competitors are available with all-wheel drive and a less powerful, more fuel-efficient engine choice. Rear-seat headroom can also be tight. It's definitely worth checking out the Audi A6 and Audi A7, the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and E-Class." -- Edmunds
- "No more googly cat eye lamps, no more silver-painted dash buttons, revised gauges, slightly bigger taillights and the now-ubiquitous LED running lamps. Looks good." -- Inside Line